On March 17, 2014, Canada enacted economic sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials that have been identified as being responsible for undermining the sovereignty of Ukraine and facilitating Russian military action against Ukraine. The situation in the Ukraine remains volatile and companies carrying on business with or in the Ukraine and Russia must be attentive to the likelihood that additional sanctions may be imposed by the Government of Canada and the international community in response to future actions of the Russian and Crimean governments.

The sanctions are contained in the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations and the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations. They impose an asset freeze on “designated persons” who are believed to have engaged in activities that facilitate, support, provide funding to or contributed to the deployment of Russian troops in Crimea or the seizing of control of Ukrainian government and military assets in Crimea. Persons in Canada and Canadians abroad are prohibited from engaging in trade and other economic activities with “designated persons”.

The sanctions currently list seven Russian and three Ukrainian individuals as designated persons, including Dmitry Rogozin (Deputy Prime Minister of Russia), Sergey Glazyev and Vladislav Surkov (advisers to President Vladimir Putin), as well as Serhiy Aksyonov (Prime Minister of Crimea) and Volodymyr Konstantynov (Chairman of the Crimean parliament).

The prohibited activities include:

  1. Dealing in property held by or on behalf of a designated person;
  2. Entering into or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to a dealing in property held by or on behalf of a designated person;
  3. Providing financial or other related services in respect of a dealing in any property held by or on behalf of a designated person;
  4. Making any goods available to a designated person;
  5. Providing any financial or financial-related services to or for the benefit of a designated person; and
  6. Engaging in any activity that causes, assists, or promotes, or is intended to cause, assist, or promote, any of the acts identified above.

Certain transactions are exempted from the prohibitions on economic activities with designated persons (e.g., payments made by or on behalf of designated persons that are due under contracts entered into before the enactment of the sanctions if such payments are not made to or for the benefit of a designated person).